Family and Winery

Characteristics of Szekszárd. Shown through our taste.

The Szekszárd appellation covers the easternmost stretches of the Transdanubian Hills. The thick loess soil of the slopes produces round wines with elegant, fruity aromas. The Mediterranean influence makes the autumns warm and sunny enabling us to harvest at optimal ripeness.

Due to these conditions international varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah became very popular in the 1990s. But we also have high hopes for our local varieties, Kékfrankos (aka. Blaufränkisch) and Kadarka, which seem to respond really well to the challenges posed by the extreme weather conditions of recent years. We believe that the future of our estate lies with local varieties, and our increasing commitment to them is reflected in the structure of our new plantings and viticultural experiments.

Our aim is to transform Szekszárd into an internationally recognized, high-end wine region capable of appealing to the most sophisticated and curious wine lovers.

Living and working in Szekszárd since 1758. German spirit ever since.

After the end of the Ottoman occupation of Hungary in the 18th century Swabian farmers were encouraged by royal incentives to settle down in the depopulated regions. They brought along their advanced wine producing culture and entrepreneurial, hard-working spirit. They planted vine on the abandoned hillsides and revitalized trade. The Heimanns belonged to the “lower street Swabians” in Szekszárd and were one of the enterprising and hard-working farmer families.

In the 20th century the development of the family winery was first halted by the Great Depression of the 1930s and then by WW2. Our great-great grandfather Ferenc (b 1901) on returning from the war was forced, due to his illness, to hand over the management of the family estate to his son Ferenc (b 1930). Heimann Ferenc Jr. was instrumental in the implementation of the first large scale cordon-trained vine plantings, the establishment of the local cooperative for vine crofts and also the founding of the local winery Aliscavin.

Zoltán (b 1959) and his wife, Ágnes have left their respective careers as successful economists to return to viticulture and winemaking. Since 1990 they have reorganized the family estate. The commitment to vineyards has become once again an essential part of our family culture. In 2009 they decided to move to Szekszárd so that they could dedicate all their efforts to running the estate.

The daily operation of the Family Estate is characterized by accumulated wisdom, traditional accuracy and youthful vigour. In all key issues decisionmaking and responsibility lies with the family members.

Zoltán is responsible for strategy and overseeing investments and plantings. He also acts as a host at most of our wine tastings. Ági is responsible for the winemaking, the harvest, the administration and contributes to the entertainment of our guests. Zoltán Jr. studied at the best European universities for viticulture and enology: Geisenheim, Montpellier, Bordeaux and Udine. After 6 years of studies, he is gradually taking over the control over viticulture and winemaking responsibilities. His younger brother Gábor is studying medicine in Munich, and is doing his best to make our wines popular in his circle of friends.

A good team. Essential to achieve the highest standards.

The family-like atmosphere is strengthened by the fact that most of our employees working in the vineyards and the cellar have been committed to us for over 10 years. We have six full-time employees in the winery. Mátis László is the most senior; he is responsible for labelling, bottling and magaging the stock. Tóth György and Horenka Zoltán are our tractor operators. Tóth Bertalan is chief of cellar hygene and machinery. Starting 2017, Illyés Péter is responsible for the coordination and supervision of vineyard works.

All our employees are to some extent utility men (and woman), a situation not uncommon with small enterprises.

Our wines reflect our personalities.

We grow our own grapes and we live among the vines that yield them. We absorb inspiration from all around us and scrutinize our own thoughts intensely. We continuously take steps to improve the habitat to enable fauna to thrive in order to achieve biodiversity. As the grapes ripen, we react promptly to the challenges of each vintage. We taste to decide on the optimum harvest date and sort our grapes manually, with overripe berries simply not making the cut.

We delicately handle and process the harvested grapes, fermenting and extracting with care. We allow the wines a lengthy maturation period so that they can develop slowly and steadily, at their own speed. In creating our blends, we taste and take decisions together as a trio of mother, father and son. All of that goes into a glass of Heimann.

Responsibility to nature

The Heimanns have always taken responsibility for their natural environment. We make use of the side products of winemaking, both in our own kitchen and hospitality.

Marc left over from grape pressings is processed to produce grapeseed oil, a substance of high nutritional value. Green grapes from crop-thinning are used to make verjus, ideal for souring or as refreshment. Ági’s garden is a great source of tasteful food, be it spices, vegetables, or her divine tomato.

Waste at our estate is collected selectively. Suitable organic remnants are fed to our chicken, wood litter is used for heating.

Social responsibility and recognition

The social functions taken on by our family members in the wine industry and various wine related organizations are important. Zoltán Sr. is the acting Chairman of the Szekszárd Appellation and he does his best to facilitate the development of his beloved home region. He is also a founding member of Pannon Winemakers’ Guild and Vindependent. Ági is founding member of Pannónia Női Borrend, an organization with lots of wine cultural events to its credit. Zoltán Jr. is a member of Junibor Association of Young Winemakers. And all three of them are active members of the Szekszárd Winemakers’ Guild which gathers the best winemakers in Szekszárd.

In 2011 at the Artvinum Gala in Stuttgart Heimann Zoltán was named the International Wine Expert of the Year, an award that honoured his efforts for his community.

We are proud of the many gold medals we have won at various international wine competitions: Bordeaux, Brussels, London, Budapest. Our biggest success however are the returning guests and the reordered wines.

The winery has collected several awards of national significance:

  • Budapest Business Journal named us as Gastro Winery of the Year in 2013.
  • Hungarian Sommelier Association recorgnized us with its Par Excellence Award in 2014.
  • Prestige Reserve elected us as “Prestige Winery” in 2015.
  • The Hungarian Gault-Millau Guide named us as Winery of the Year 2016.
  • In 2017, Zoltan Jr. won the Pannonia Golden Ring, an award aimed at young winemakers for their vision of Hungarian wine. His winning project video can be seen here.